GCCC softball splits with Lamar

GCCC Sports Information Services

LAMAR, CO - It's been a weird start to the season for the Garden City Community College softball team. They've had more games canceled in two weeks than they did all of last year. They've had starts and stops because of COVID and contact tracing. They've had practice time cut short because of protocols. So, in essence, even though they lost Monday's games to Northeastern in lopsided fashion, at least they were on the field.

Then on Tuesday, even in spite of them dropping their first game to Lamar, Garden City showed progress, something first-year coach, Amy Schmeckpeper has been stressing all along.

GAME 1

Garden City dominated the first two innings, but it all came crashing down when the Lopes plated eight runs in the fifth, Sheridan Wayne and Mason Togher each went yard, and Lamar edged the Broncbusters 8-6 at Citizens' Field.

The Broncbusters got things started right away in the first. Nya Chacon singled home McKayla Encinias, and Carly Powley tripled to right to make it 2-0. An inning later, the brown and gold were back it. Alena Jaramillo smoked an RBI single, Encinias ripped a triple to the gap, and Garden City led 5-0.

The problem? After the early fireworks, the Broncbusters managed just three base runners over the next four innings, all the while Lamar came storming back in a forgetful fifth.

The first four batters reached base before Naya Youtsey smashed a two-run triple. That was followed by Risa Segura's three-bagger that brought one around and Sheridan Wayne's monstrous home run that gave Lamar an 8-5 advantage.

The Broncbusters had their chance in the top of the seventh. Encinias led off with a single to center; then stole second before coming across on Chacon's RBI ground out. But the rally didn't go any further than that thanks to Wayne, who struck out Elycia Johnson with a rise ball to end the game.

Tara Reid took the loss for Garden City in the circle, allowing seven runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. Lacey Kearsley tossed 1 1/3 innings of relief, surrendering one run on two hits.

Wayne notched the win for the Lopes, giving up five earned runs over seven innings while fanning four.

GAME 2

It took three games, but Garden City finally broke through, even if their first-year coach had to sweat a little.

Tara Reid collected two hits including the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh, Nya Chacon homered and knocked in two, and the Broncbusters edged the Lopes 6-4 in game two Tuesday afternoon at Citizens' Field. The win improved the road team to 1-3 on the season.

And just like the opener, Garden City was ready from the start.

Following a McKayla Encinias lead-off single in the first, Chacon blasted the first pitch she saw off of Hope Quinones, parking it over the wall in center for a 2-0 lead. But that didn't stick, and in the bottom half, Broncbuster starter, Lacey Kearsley gave up a single and a double before Sheridan Wayne, who notched the win in the circle in the opener, smashed a three-run go-ahead homer to right to put the Lopes up, 3-2.

The score stayed that way until the fourth, when the Broncbusters took the lead back following Kearsley's run-scoring double, and Erykah Foster's RBI single. But the Lopes immediately notched the score in the bottom half when Mason Togher homered to center.  

In the fifth, Garden City blew a chance to take the lead after putting two on with one out. But McKenzie Moore was thrown out at home on Foster's two hopper to third. After going in order in the sixth, the Broncbusters finally pushed ahead for good in the seventh. With two outs and a runner on, Reid singled in the infield, bringing Chacon around to make it 5-4. Two batters later, Reid scored on a passed ball, giving the Broncbusters a two-run cushion.

And that's all Reid needed in the bottom half, working a 1-2-3 seventh to give Amy Schmeckpeper her first career win in Garden City.

Reid notched the win in the circle, holding the Lopes scoreless over four innings while scattering five hits and striking out two. Foster finished 3-for-4 at the plate, and Kearsley and Reid each added two hits.

Garden City will host Lamar at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursday at Tangeman Sports Complex.